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The Week in Soap: 8th July ’18

I’ve realised this evening that I need to start some kind of daily diary. This blog is supposed to serve as a record of the development of my business, but as I sat down this evening to write, I wasn’t entirely sure what it is I’ve been doing all week 😀  I think it’s the heat, going to my head.  It’s been another scorcher, with temperatures around 28-29 degrees every day, and I’m loving it…  I have fingers, toes and everything else crossed that it hold up after the schools break up for summer (less than two weeks away now – yey/eek!!) but I’ll confess to being a little pessimistic about the chances…

Back to last week then, and on Monday I took the day off and climbed a mountain.  The perfect start to week, despite the oppressive heat.  I went with three girlfriends, and we took our time, putting the world to rights as we walked.  This is the view back down towards our village from the top:

Beddgelert from the summit of Hebog
Beddgelert from the summit of Hebog

We got back in time for the school run and then we all headed down to the river for a cooling dip.  By the time I got to bed that night I’d clocked up over 28,000 steps on my Fitbit.  That’ll do me 🙂

I was back to work on Tuesday, wrapping and labelling stock to replenish what I’d sold at the fair the previous Saturday.  I spent a bit of time reorganising my office, and came across these bars that I hadn’t put up for sale because of the partial gel:

Botanica with partial gel
Botanica with partial gel

It’s great soap (of course!) and has been curing for months so it’s wonderfully hard, but it’s just not perfect, so I wasn’t happy selling it.  Anyway, there’s only so much ‘reject’ soap that we can get through at home, so I decided to offer it for half price on my Facebook page.  I had absolutely no idea it would prove so popular. I went off to a dentist appointment and forgot about soap for a while, and when I came out my notifications were going crazy and they were all sold no time.  Why on earth has it taken me so long to do that?

On Wednesday I sent off my application for the largest Christmas fair around here, the Portmeirion Winter Fair. It’s held on the first weekend of December, and I had a great (and profitable!) time there last year, so fingers crossed I can return this year.

Thursday was soapmaking day – woop!  I made 4 loaves (60 bars) of my most time-consuming bar, the seven colour Tutti Frutti, scented with a jelly beans fragrance oil.  I also made a batch of my luxury Facial Bar, in my tall ‘n’ skinny mould from The Moulds Shop.  Nope, I’m not on commission, I just love their moulds :-D.

Tutti Frutti in the mould
Tutti Frutti in the mould
Freshly poured facial soap in the mould
Freshly poured facial soap in the mould

(Yes, that’s a permanent kink in the silicone liner 🙁 Entirely my fault, I stored it badly)

Generally I don’t gel my soaps.  It’s too difficult to cover my textured tops to insulate them, so I don’t normally bother.  Last time I made the facial bars I got a partial gel so this time, when I saw that the batter in the mould was starting to gel, I popped it outside into the (hot!) sunshine and let it do its thing. Because I don’t often get to see the gelling process, I excitedly took a few snaps along the way:

More gelling...
More gelling…
(nearly) fully gelled...
(nearly) fully gelled…

At this point I had to go over to the office and was worried that the batch might overheat if I left it in the sun unattended, so I brought it indoors again. I’m sure it would have been fine, and I kind of wish I’d left it out to finish off, but never mind…

On Friday morning I unmoulded and cut the facial bars:

Facial Bars, freshly cut
Facial Bars, freshly cut

I am ridiculously, utterly excited about this facial bar. I’ve been using it myself for months, to the exclusion of anything else, and I absolutely LOVE it.  I don’t want or need anything else.  It’s been tested by many others, and the feedback has been amazing, so this batch is the first that I’ll be offering for sale, probably in mid to late August.  It’s got some wonderful ingredients, including evening primrose, sweet almond, jojoba and argan oils, and I’ll be writing a post about it closer to the launch date.

I took Friday afternoon off (yes, more time off lol) and caught up with an old friend, so I was back into the office on Saturday, just briefly, to cut the Tutti Frutti soaps:

Freshly cut Tutti Frutti
Freshly cut Tutti Frutti
Freshly cut Tutti Frutti
Freshly cut Tutti Frutti

The rest of Saturday (or what felt like an awful lot of it anyway) was spent painting our hallway.  Not exciting, but very satisfying. Oh, and avoiding the flippin’ football. Apparently England are doing ok?  Bah – give me the Tour de France any day 😉

Thanks for reading, have a great week, and I’ll be back soon!



10 thoughts on “The Week in Soap: 8th July ’18

  1. Your warm weather sounds like joy!! I am making do with a couple of sunny days and the temps at least 20 for the week – on the very bottom end of tolerable. The soaps look wonderful (as always) and the facial bar sounds perfect!
    And give me soccer over watching desperados riding bicycles any day!! TDF banned in this house – LOL!! Although with the Oscar-style antics on the soccer field – have been settling for tennis : )

    1. Oh my word, 20 degrees every day sounds wonderfully warm to me hahahaha!!

  2. Howdy! Question about your silicone liner. Do you know any way to “shrink” it back to shape?

    I love my #6! Those facial bars really do look lush! How neat you go to see the gel! I’ve not witnessed a gel occuring since I first began soaping. Weird.

    1. I’ve no idea about the silicone I’m afraid – mine also has a tear in the base (again, my crappy storage) and I can’t even get masking tape or gorilla tape to stick to it to hold it together, so wouldn’t know where to start with reshaping it. The gel was really interesting, if I get the same circumstances again I’ll leave it out until it has completely done. Now THAT will be interesting.

      1. Word.

        Want my silicone liners? I’ve a large slab and a #6!

        1. Ooh now there’s an idea! Yes, I’ll happily buy them off you – how much for the two?

          1. I’ll message you on Facebook!

  3. Beautiful soaps Vicki!
    The facial bars are gorgeous – that white! And the Tutti Fruity – always beautiful!!
    I would love 28C…we’ve been having 35C for weeks & weeks, with an all time high of 40C a couple weeks ago! (Of course the AC died the next day – at least it wasn’t that day!) We had no winter in Colorado and have had a drought, with lots of fires and hot, hot, hot! SO glad my house is mostly cool through this all.
    Enjoy the river!

  4. Too bad about your liner and your partial gel, but like you said, it’s just a cosmetic flaw and perfectly great soap! Glad you were still able to put it up for sale and find buyers who understand that. 🙂 Your facial bars are gorgeous too! Loved seeing the photos of the soap gelling. Such an interesting process to watch!

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